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Aug 12, 2012 01:33 PM

I need to find delicous olive oil in Milan and Urbino

I'm an olive oil addict! Two of the towns I'll visit on my next trip--Milan and Urbino, are regions where I've never purchased olive oil. I'd love your advice on delicious oil from Lombardy and Marche and where I can buy them in Milan and Urbino. Thanks!

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  1. Lombardy is not really an oil producing region compared to others - one area where there is oil grown is by Lago di Garda - it is a light bodied oil - I think the northern-most growing region in the world - and preferred in Venice for fish. You could keep an eye out for that in Milano. Also check what is on sale in the farmer's markets such as the San Marco market.Artisanal producers tend to show up in those venues.

    In Urbino, Id look in the local shops which sell fine foods - or it you hit lucky there will be a market. day when you are there.

    8 Replies
    1. re: jen kalb

      Lombardy has 2 DOP olive oil zones, Laghi Lombardi (around Lago d'Iseo and Lago di Como), and, as Jen notes, Lago di Garda, the largest of these relatively small production areas, and one also shared by the regions of Trentino and Veneto. The oils are usually light, fragrant, and expensive: Malcesine, Vanini, and Turri are among he largest producers. In Urbino, look for Galiardi, Guerrieri, and La Collina; Urbino is close to the oil producing village of Cartoceto, center of Le Marche's only DOP zone. These oils, like most from Le Marche, resemble many from Tuscany (green, peppery, fruity, grassy) but are usually a little less intense.

      1. re: bob96

        Thanks to you both--just the information I was looking for. I do hope to go to the farmer's markets if the timing works out.

        1. re: Henrietta Stackpole

          you may have a bit of a hard time finding the local regional oils in Milan - we looked for the Gardesana oils in Brescia (the capital of the region where the oil is produced on the West side of Garda) - and had to go to several stores before we found a sample. I would not count on finding these local items at Peck or the other stores nearby (note, that area of MIlan seems reduced in its food shopping options in our last visit, expanded in the number of gelato stands)

          Im wondering whether you might be able to find some delicious ligurian oils in nearby Milan, if the regional ones are not available.

          1. re: jen kalb

            Jen, Eataly Milano might be a source; the NY shop carries Gardesana oil. Odd and a little sad to think that I can buy a Garda oil (Valtenesi's Mirium) at Buon Italia in NY seemingly easier than I can in Milan.


            1. re: bob96

              they carry one at Coluccio too but its not getting any fresher....we are going to liguria this year (Genoa and south), so I am looking forward to that region's oils.

              1. re: jen kalb

                Buon viaggio---ed assaggio. Look forward to your trip notes as always. I understand that the dominance of the taggiasca olive fades a bit toward the SE, as Tuscan tastes begin to show. Have a great trip.

                1. re: bob96

                  Thanks bob96 for the good wishes and for aiding and abetting my olive oil addiction.

            2. re: jen kalb

              Hmmm, perhaps I'll be forced against my will to visit some of those gelato stands.....

      2. Peck (in central Milan) is perhaps the ultimate food store in Italy and is a must visit for any foodie. The selection is large and so are the prices.

        5 Replies
        1. re: DavidT

          I cant be the only person who dislikes Peck.. I have made A SINGLE purchase each time I have been in the store, but the prevalence of their private label stuff turns me off. Its also been noticeably empty on each visit. Looking for special liqueurs the last time (did find an interesting but very expensive Mirto) but the foreign items seems to prevail over Italian regional items. I guess the selection is geared more to the Milanese big spenders than to foreign food enthusiasts.

          1. re: jen kalb

            Gee, I thought I was the only one who dislikes Peck. A total ripoff, with second rate quality and not only private label. Looks good, but really isn't, but most people (including "foodies") don't know the difference. What does it remind of in New York... could it be!? Yes, Eataly.

            1. re: allende

              hmm, yes. the triumph of marketing and window dressing over quality. But Id say Eataly is persuading the masses more than Peck.- the eery emptiness of the place freaked me out. Maybe most of their business is special orders rather than walk-in?

              1. re: jen kalb

                I went to Eataly a few years ago in Bologna--I didn't know there was one in Milan. I don't mind having a look in there again, or Peck, which I've never heard of but seems to be a source of controversy! :)

                1. re: Henrietta Stackpole

                  Peck is worth a visit not necessarily to buy but to browse their displays. Convenient, located in central.

        2. I've returned from my trip. With an itinerary focused heavily on art and architecture, I didn't have much time for olive oil shopping in Milan. I did manage to purchase a bottle of oil from Lago di Garda in Vicenza from a specialty shop called Il Ceppo. The oil was their house brand and quite delicious, much milder and grassier than the olive oil from Puglia I had on my previous trip to Italy this spring. I didn't manage to visit the controversial Peck, or to buy any olive oil in Urbino, since I was there on a Sunday and most of the shops were closed. We did eat some wonderful cresce, but that's another story......

          I will be back to Italy soon, so I certainly will not miss out on trying these regional olive oils. I thank you all again for your suggestions!

          1 Reply
          1. re: Henrietta Stackpole

            so glad you found some Lago di Garda oil - it is lovely and delicate.
            hope we will get to hear the other story - about the cresce and your other eating!